TWO popular and very different touring theatre shows are coming to the Hunter this week, with the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Friday, and Lennon: Through a Glass Onion at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on Saturday.
This is the sixth year that performers at the Sydney Comedy Festival, including many from overseas, have taken to the road following the April-May four-week event in Sydney. Between June 1 and November 10, 51 comedians will share the 42 performances across Australia, generally with six at each venue.
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, which looks at the life and songs of John Lennon, while he was with the Beatles and after they split up, was put together by actor-musician John Waters and singer-pianist Stewart D’Arrietta in 1992, 12 years after Lennon’s death.
Its popularity has led them to repeatedly revive and tour it.
The show, with 31 songs, has played throughout the world, as well as in Australia, including a 16-week season in New York in 2014-15 that won rave reviews.
The comedy festival showcase MC at the Civic Theatre is Cam Knight, an actor and stand up comedian for the past 16 years who has amused audiences in TV shows such as Unreal Estate, as well as in the live shows he has done around Australia.
He has also been acclaimed for the tongue-in-cheek TV interviews he has done with worldwide comedians.
The other performers are: US comedian Dwayne Perkins, who initially performed to predominantly black audiences, but has wowed people of all backgrounds; Jade Cata-Pretta, who began her comedy career in Brazil and now lives in the US, where she admits she is open and crude as a comedian.
Then there’s Joe Shaffer, a funny man, writer and actor from Texas who now lives in Melbourne.
The two Australian comedians are Julia Wilson, the toughest woman in comedy because she includes elements of her previous jobs, such as being a bodyguard and a bouncer, in her routines and John Cruckshank, a well-paced performer in his 20s who began stand-up as a teenager. Show time: 8pm. Tickets: $55, subscribers $45. Bookings: 4929 1977.
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion shows how the events in John Lennon’s life influenced his songs, with Strawberry Fields forever, written in his Beatles era, showing the fun he had as a child in Liverpool when visiting the Salvation Army house with that name.
The Oriental influences in his later Beautiful Boy confirm his love for the son, Sean, he had with wife Yoko Ono. Show time: 8pm. Tickets: $60 to $65. Bookings: 4990 7134.